Author Archive

The Power of Reading About Your Home

Jaquira Díaz’s 2019 memoir resonated deeply with me in a way that a bronzed Al Pacino never could, and that a book never had.

“I used to think that I had to choose between the page and the musical aspect of it”: An Interview with Kelly Harris-DeBerry

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Harris-DeBerry writes about freedom like someone who has felt the word in her mouth for years, felt the shape and sound of it, and has used the instruments of her voice and her page to translate it into something we can all understand.

Past as Place in Subduction

Kristen Millares Young’s novel explores the idea of people’s histories and stories, whether personal or communal, as places that can anchor or be explored and learned from.

Writing a Home for All My Ghosts

A home doesn’t feel like a home when there are structures built to immortalize those who dehumanized entire populaces. But it feels a little more like home when we’re marching, when we fill spaces with our bodies, our friends, our loves, our strangers, shouting out the names of the

The Grounding Power of the Past

The gravitational pull of the physical is a placeholder for the mental, emotional, and spiritual work that Sarah M. Broom’s 2019 book, and the stories within, is doing.

Breaking the Borders of Memories, Ghosts, and Shadows in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

Michael Zapata’s new novel is a story about stories, literature about literature, a universe about universes. Memories, ghosts, and shadows all guide the protagonists as they try to keep their stories and homes and loves with them.

Reading City Without People: The Katrina Poems in an Isolated New Orleans

There’s a line in Niyi Osundare’s 2011 book that goes, “Enia lasoo mi,” which translates from Yoruba to English as, “People are my clothes.” Waking up to a seemingly emptied New Orleans, Christopher Romaguera had that line on his mind.

Language and Fronteras in Signs Preceding the End of the World

In Yuri Herrera’s 2009 novel, borders can be impenetrable surfaces, and language can open doors that can’t so easily be locked back.

The Power of Oral Stories in The Distant Marvels

Keeping the stories, the myths, the facts, and the losses of the Cuban people alive is important. Telling these stories is an act of active resistance against the washing away of the Cuban people who have toiled under colonizers and dictators.

Reading Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir

When I read Laymon’s recent memoir, I had a visceral reaction. It reminded me why I started writing. It made me wonder if my writing reaches my peoples and keeps us revising and growing in our stories. If writing protects us from the silence of memories lost.